A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) - Page 14
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# A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce

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31 Aug 2004, 23:51
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A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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01 Jul 2010, 02:50
Hi

I am having a hard time figuring out why this is supposedly wrong :

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the great lakes

I chose A) , correct as it is, the OG has this answer instead :

D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump

According to the explanation, "reduced" requires that either "are allowed" or "were allowed" to be used, since "were" is not among the options, the explanation is that you can assume that the agreement is still in effect, then you use are

They have "had been allowed" as wrong because its something in the past before reducing, but why is that wrong anyways ? Isn't the rate before reduction is what has been reduced ? I think had been allowed should be right no ?
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Re: SC 74 OG 12 [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2010, 06:30
Well .. we are always supposed to choose the best answer.
For you help ... here is a good explanation ... hope it helps ..
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/og-sc-62-t580.html
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Re: SC 74 OG 12 [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2010, 08:38
Passive constructions are not accespted mostly in GMAT.
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Re: SC 74 OG 12 [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2010, 09:02
lnarayanan wrote:
Passive constructions are not accespted mostly in GMAT.

that's not the issue w/ this problem.

are allowed
have been allowed

both are passively constructed.

Back to the original post
kuharido wrote:
They have "had been allowed" as wrong because its something in the past before reducing, but why is that wrong anyways ? Isn't the rate before reduction is what has been reduced ? I think had been allowed should be right no ?

the problem with "had been allowed" is more of a logical one:
1) agreement reduced amount of phosphate
2) was (or had been) allowed <to dump> (the infinitive "to dump" is actually used here as an adverb, modifying "allowed"; don't think of the verb in this clause as "dumped")

so now ask this question: is the "allowance" before the "agreement"? No, it should be the other way around, the agreement reduced the "allowance". (The dumping may occure BEFORE the agreement, but the main verb is not "dumped"). So it really doesn't make sense to use "had been..." to stress that the allowance occurred before the agreement.

I'm not sure how that helps, but that's how I reasoned the problem.
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Re: SC 74 OG 12 [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2010, 15:43
@Acc3ss Thanks for the link, I had ro read that a couple of times but its starting to sink in

@Inarayanan, thanks but yeah the main issue is not the passive construction, as adalfu noted

@adalfu That does help ! I am still trying to drill it through my brain, and the observation about the verb/adverb is spot on, thanks !

At this point I think the most clear way for my to reason this problem (really weird problem lol) is the following :

Past Participle : Event occured at time 100
Past : Event occured at time 200

The general rule is that PP .... I just said pp, hehe, ok so pp occurs before the past, always

Past participle : had been allowed (this amount is x)
Past : reduced

reduced, which is at time 200, cannot reduce something before it or it existed, as such, the amount x, by "had been allowed" syntax, sets the amount at time 100, reduced can't retroactively reduce something before it

What still bugs me though, is that its not really reducing something before it, I mean, can't we understand that the amount of allowance was constant all up to the agreement ? meaning that at time 100 (had been reduced) and time (200) the actual reduction, the amount was unaltered and it continued all the way to the past (reduce at time 200)

I know it sounds like analyzing it too much but I am just not getting it any other way
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Re: SC 74 OG 12 [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2010, 06:43
Yha.. i hope that i understood the actual problem... But I am not clear about the solution
Shall we reatate
where to use " past perfect + past participle" passive (Had been allowed )
&
Where to use " present + past participle" passive ( are allowed )
for " past perfect + past participle" - two action should be taken place.
One should be completed while other is in starting position.
I hope here it is not the case.

Moreover

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates into the great lakes "(Main sentence ).
“that municipalities had been allowed to dump” - is an essential relative clause
modefier. i think we don't need to use " had been + past participle " in modefier.
Plz suggest whether i am in right track or not...
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31 Jul 2010, 14:02
Past perfect is used to indicate something that happened before something else - and because we are only given one sentence. Hence A is out.

D is correct.
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31 Jul 2010, 21:02
D for me too..
This is an OG question..
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01 Aug 2010, 00:31
Has to be D. Was wondering initially how it could be A.....Thankfully it is not
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09 Aug 2010, 01:36
Thanks dolly12.

The provided links is providing the proper explanation for this question.

Cheers!
Ravi
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09 Aug 2010, 03:09
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D it is..
However, the 1000SC states the answer as A...

But the OA is D.
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12 Oct 2010, 04:24
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States [highlight]reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump[/highlight] into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

SC 1000 says one answer and forums give varying answers. So I don't know what should be OA
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Re: SC 1000 - OA not sure [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 04:40
saxenashobhit wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States [highlight]reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump[/highlight] into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump use perfect tense only when time sequence is required. In other cases use simple tense
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping -Amount of phosphate is correct.
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump Amount of phosphate is correct.
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dumpcorrect
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalitiesfragment

SC 1000 says one answer and forums give varying answers. So I don't know what should be OA

Please underline the text rather than highlighting.

The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.
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Re: SC 1000 - OA not sure [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 05:54
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The gist of the sentence boils down to the restriction the agreement imposed on future action rather than on past action. Obliviously the agreement can't ask those who exceeded the dumping limits prior to 1972, to recover the dumped material from the lakes. So any mention of past tense or past perfect for describing the dumping is null and void. Choices A and B will be incorrect for this reason.

Since it is an agreement that was mooted in 1972, we are required to use past tense to denote the main verb. So C and E which use the present tense verb reduces can be eliminated.

D for using the past tense reduce to expose the timing of the event, and the present tense for some thing the is currently in vogue and that which is going to continue in the future, is the preferred choice.
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Re: SC 1000 - OA not sure [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 05:57
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saxenashobhit wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States [highlight]reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump[/highlight] into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

SC 1000 says one answer and forums give varying answers. So I don't know what should be OA

Hi Shobhit,

This is an OG12 Question, so you can find the OA and OE there and be guaranteed that it is right. The OA is D and my reasons are:

There are 2 actions occuring in the sentence:
1. An agreement reducing the Phosphate Amount
2. Muncipalities dumping wastes in the lakes.

As indicated by the date of the Agreement the first action occurs in Past and hence has the correct Past tense (Reduced)
The Second action is an eternal event Muncipalities have always and coninue to dump the waste irrespective of the quantities. Eternal Events are to be represented by Present Tense. The only option that correctly represents the 2 actions by the correct tense is Option D.
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Re: SC 1000 - OA not sure [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 06:09
gurpreetsingh wrote:
The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.

I disagree, Dumping wastes by the Muncipality is aneternal activity, and Present tenses should be used in case of depicting eternal actions.

Hence the Perfect Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option.
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Re: SC 1000 - OA not sure [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 07:15
devashish wrote:
gurpreetsingh wrote:
The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.

I disagree, Dumping wastes by the Muncipality is aneternal activity, and Present tenses should be used in case of depicting eternal actions.

Hence the Perfect Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option.

no its not correct.

Suppose A is correct. It means the event 'municipalities had been allowed to dump ' occurred before the event
'A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates '.
=> the agreement the reduced the amount that was once allowed to dump???

had been signifies that the event- allowance of dump- occurred before the agreement. Thus you can not use past perfect. In the absence of simple past tense you may use present tense.
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Re: SC 1000 - OA not sure [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 11:24
gurpreetsingh wrote:
devashish wrote:
gurpreetsingh wrote:
The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.

I disagree, Dumping wastes by the Muncipality is aneternal activity, and Present tenses should be used in case of depicting eternal actions.

Hence the Perfect Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option.

no its not correct.

Suppose A is correct. It means the event 'municipalities had been allowed to dump ' occurred before the event
'A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates '.
=> the agreement the reduced the amount that was once allowed to dump???

had been signifies that the event- allowance of dump- occurred before the agreement. Thus you can not use past perfect. In the absence of simple past tense you may use present tense.

I am sorry I meant the last sentence as:
Hence the Present Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option

I completely agree with you that the Past Perfect tense here is Incorrect. However I do not understand how does that make Past Tense automatically correct. Why I feel Past is incorrect is because in Past Tense the sentence would be:
'A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.'

The above statement would be correct if the Muncipalities dumped Phosphates just once ( or a couple of times ) in the Past and would never do again in the future. But that is not the case, as Muncipalities were dumping and will continue to dump Phospahates ( irrespective of the amounts ).
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Re: SC 1000 - OA not sure [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 12:05
I use the equation approach..

We need a verb parallel to "agreement" will be "reduced."
among a, b and d - "amount of" is the correct idiom use. Which brings to A and D
Then past tense (D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
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24 Oct 2010, 22:22
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump in to the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump

(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping

(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump

(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump

(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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Last edited by scheol79 on 25 Oct 2010, 08:11, edited 1 time in total.
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States   [#permalink] 24 Oct 2010, 22:22

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